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ASX 200 lunch time report: ANZ & CBA lower, Nufarm higher

At lunch on Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 index has followed the lead of U.S. markets and pushed higher. At the time of writing the benchmark index is up 0.15% to 6,698.4 points.

Here’s what has been happening on the market today:

Bank shares are lower

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), and the rest of the big four banks are trading lower today ahead of the Reserve Bank’s meeting this afternoon. The latest cash rate futures continue to point to a 78% probability of a rate cut to a record low of 0.75%.

Suncorp sells smash repair business

This morning Suncorp (ASX: SUN) announced an agreement to sell its smash repair business to AMA Group Ltd (ASX: AMA). The Capital S.M.A.R.T business will be acquired by AMA for an enterprise value of $420 million, with Suncorp retaining a 10% stake. The insurance and banking giant expects to record an after-tax profit on the sale in the range of $275 million to $295 million.

Gold miners sink lower

A number of Australian gold miners such as Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) have sunk lower today after the gold price tumbled overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price dropped 1.8% to US$1,479.10 an ounce after the U.S. dollar strengthened. The S&P/ASX All Ords Gold index is down 2.8% today.

Best and worst performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 index for a second day in a row is the Nufarm Limited (ASX: NUF) share price with a gain of almost 9%. This morning analysts at Morgan Stanley retained their overweight rating and lifted the price target on the agricultural chemicals company’s shares to $7.20 following its results and asset sale. The worst performer today has been the Resolute Mining share price with a decline of almost 3.5%.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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